19 October 2018

Adventures in Low Volume

I have seen many quilts popping up on social media that are described as 'Low Volume'
Melanie at Southern Charm Quilts has an interesting article explaining what makes a fabric low volume HERE

I think of these as Modern Quilts, and as someone who is normally drawn to antique/repro fabrics I thought it would be fun to have a go at a low volume quilt of my own.  I had an EPP pattern I wanted to try and bought some pale fabrics, you can see the original plan here:


I cut out the pieces for a few blocks and started stitching; I very quickly got bored πŸ˜” I enjoyed fussy cutting some of the pieces, but a whole quilt in Low Volume, really wasn't holding my attention. My work isn't wasted, I learned something and the blocks I made were just the right size to turn into a pouch to hold my light pad πŸ˜€

I will use my 'fussy cutting' fabric for the back - I had to search to find a piece large enough with no holes 🀣

I still really want to make a quilt with modern Low Volume fabrics, looking again at all the quilts that have inspired me, I think it is the combination of these as backgrounds to brighter colours that I love.  On to Plan B ....

Add some bright colours to the pale selection, lots of these are leftovers from my 'Down the Rabbit Hole' Quilt

Melanie is hosting the 'I am enough" QAL , it is a Free pattern she has designed and you can find all the details here:

It is my favourite kind of quilt, scrappy with lots of different blocks πŸ˜€ I am learning a lot too with this one! so far I have tried a new fusible appliquΓ© thread (Charlotte's Web) and the French Braid pattern which has been on my list to make for years. I have lots of handwork on the go at the moment so I think this will be my machine project.

02 October 2018

Stonefields Revisited

Way back in 2014 I was luck enough to take a class with Susan Smith and see the real 'Stonefields' Quilt, with her permission I took lots of photos, you can see them here http://emilyscupboard.blogspot.com/2014/09/stonefields-more-you-look-more-you-see.html

I has already started a BOM but after seeing the original I swapped out a lot of the fabrics.  I made 60 blocks and some rosettes and then got distracted by shiny new projects :( all my posts are here:

I have tried a couple of times to finish it, but I couldn't decide how I wanted to set the blocks, I knew I wanted to change it from the original.  I had this Dutch Chintz panel and I thought it would look good in the centre.  I love medallion quilts!

 I put everything up on my design wall but something wasn't right.

It looks too fussy, maybe it just needs a simple border to frame it?

It didn't matter which fabric I used for a border, it still didn't look right - believe me I tried several!!  I have decided that the problem is the colours in the centre panel, whilst I love them, they are strong and rich, and just a bit too shouty for the delicate pale blues, pinks, ivory and grey of the blocks, it competes too much, so I will save it for the centre of another quilt.  

I love Strippy Quilts and I decided that is what I will do, I found a lovely length of an old Andover fabric in my stash which I think works well, and a lovely cream tone on tone for sashing strips.

Yes I like this, much softer.  I will hand quilt this one, the sashing is perfect for a nice soft cable.  I found  some more fabric in the stash that will be perfect for the backing.

Now I just need to piece the top! I have to finish the quilts for my sons first, but then this will be my focus project.

30 September 2018

6 & 6 in 2018 finally a progress report!

Way back in January I signed up with  Meredith and Ann for their  6 & 6 in 2018 challenge to try and tame my wips.  I am pleased that I have made some progress.

This was my original list of 6 wips If you click on the titles, you should be able to see all the blog posts about each of these.

1. Down the Rabbit Hole 

This is quilted, bound, finished and currently on my bed πŸ˜€

2. Happy Days

I have just finished the hand quilting on this one, just need to bind it, I think it deserves it's own blog post.

Hmmm this is all in a box untouched, maybe this should be my next focus project?
I'm glad I tried this colour scheme but it didn't really work out as planned, I have decided to take the small piece I made and make it into a pouch for my lightbox, the rest of the fabrics are back in stash.
5. Dear Jane

Currently Hibernating!
6. EPP

Abandoned this one - didn't really like how it was going.

I also started 6 new projects (as allowed in the challenge!) If you click on the titles, you should be able to see all the blog posts about each of these.

This is just back from the longer quilter, I need to bind it and do a separate post for it 

I thought I better make a quilt for my youngest sone too, this is almost a top!

These three BOMs have been on hold while I worked on my sons quilts, I am excited to get back to them.

BOM by Sarah Fielke

Another Sarah Fielke BOM

Template only BOM by Jen Kingwell

I've just realised that I have a spare slot, maybe time to start something new?  πŸ˜‚

19 September 2018

The Chinese Coins Quilt

The blue and white wedding quilt has gone off the the longarm quilter, I am really excited to see it quilted! I decided that I will gift it to my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas

I have two sons and I thought I better get a wriggle on and make a quilt for my youngest also.  I have been promising him a new quilt since he did up his room and bought a new bed last year!  He has very different taste to his brother and I struggled to find a pattern that I thought would work.

My good friend Paula Doyle of Green Mountain Quilts has a new book out called Easy Stack, it's a fun quick way of making kaleidoscope blocks with very little fabric waste.  You stack four identical pattern repeats of your fabric and then cut your squares or rectangles, each block is different and you don't know what you will end up with πŸ˜€ Paula will be on the Quilt Show demonstrating this technique next week!


My son has decorated his room with an Asian theme and loves red, so I thought this fabric would be a great place to start.

I started by making 'bright hope' blocks - four identical rectangles surrounding a square, I then cut then into circles and machine blanket stitched them to larger black squares. I think they look like Chinese Coins, hence the name

I love how each one is cut from the same fabric but they are all different!  I will border the centre with a  large 10" border of the dragon fabric so that the full pattern is on show.  I still have to put this queen size quilt together and I'm not sure yet how I will quilt it.  My son has some ideas!!

03 September 2018

Farmer's Wife 1920's Sampler

I mentioned some months ago,  that I have joined a weekly quilting group in a local village hall, I love going along every Thursday to sit and sew, but sometimes it is a mad rush to find something to take along and to get my stuff together.  I decided I needed a project that was easy to pick up and put down, that I could work on when I had nothing else prepared to sew.

When I saw that Angie over at Gnome Angel was organising a SAL for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt I decided that would make the perfect take along project.  You see I bought the book when it first came out in 2009 and it has been sitting on the shelf ever since πŸ˜€

You can find details of the SAL here https://www.gnomeangel.com/farmers-wife-1920s-sampler-quilt-sew-along-faq/   Angie is using EPP with precut papers from paper pieces.  I did briefly consider doing the same, but they are quite expensive and I am saving for a very special birthday present (more on that later!)  I decided to hand piece my blocks, so I simply printed the templates and laminated them.  This method works really well for templates that you only need to use a few times and it's much more accurate than tracing. I use a small 1/8th" hole punch to mark a hole at the corners.

I often start off these projects with great enthusiasm, and then lose my way part way through when I forget what my original plan was! For this to work I need to be organised as this will be a long term carry along project for me.  I had a couple of  F1/8th bundles of Brenda Riddle Moda fabric in 'Fleur' and 'Guernsey' which I thought might play nicely with some Lecien yardage I have been hoarding and a Marsha McCluskey staples pindot in pink.  If I can make this quilt entirely from stash then I will be very happy πŸ€—

I am using the templates to roughly cut a big enough piece of fabric for each of the pieces in the block and then storing them in small bags, I will accurately cut my pieces when I am ready to make the block.  I thought that if I had all the fabrics chosen, it would make it easier to just pick and bag and make a block.

I am also using the book like a diary, writing on the date I make a block and anything that happened that day along with sticking a piece of the fabric I used onto the pages, it should make a nice memory record of the quilt and it will be interesting to see how long it actually takes me 😝

I have all my tools and threads etc in the sewing pouch I made a couple of months ago, details HERE

and an old square ruler covered in felt that serves as a design board

I have put all of the bags, the book etc into this lovely canvas bag a friend gave me for my birthday last year as it reminded her of my cottage.

I have an old box that a salad bowl came in, which is the perfect size for storing finished blocks.  I don't think I have ever been so organised πŸ˜‚